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John Kasich May Endorse … Joe Biden? At the Democratic Convention? Umm?


WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10: Ohio Gov. John Kasich participates in a discussion as part of the Brookings Institution's Middle Class Initiative October 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kasich, a Republican, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, participated in the discussion and found common ground on issues related to the economy, trade, education and other areas. Both governors are seen as potential 2020 presidential candidates. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

It’s not a surprise that many high profile Republicans have said that they won’t be voting for Donald Trump in November—even one of his staunchest supporters (now) in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, once said Republicans would be “destroyed” and “deserve it” if they nominated Trump—but it feels like a another thing entirely for a 2016 GOP presidential candidate to actually endorse a Democrat for president in 2020. But that’s just what might happen, and at the Democratic National Convention, no less.

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Former Ohio Governor and Republican John Kasich is rumored to be on deck to endorse Joe Biden at next month’s virtual Democratic National Convention, according to “a person with direct knowledge of the plans who insisted on anonymity.” So, grain of salt there, but the idea of such a thing from Kasich, who has remained critical of Trump throughout his presidency, doesn’t seem too far off. But the prospect of a pro-life, anti-LGBTQ republican speaking at the DNC, even a virtual one, doesn’t sit well with some.

The endorsement of people like Kasich and the prospect of having him speak at a national Democratic event puts Dems in quite a pickle, to say the least.

There are already many Republicans that have come out in support of Joe Biden. Groups like the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump are running devastating ads against the President, and the reason is clear: Donald Trump is a terrible President—like, just literally the worst.

And yeah, these Republicans against Trump, claiming the “country over party” high road—a good thing when it’s genuine—are also very clearly trying to cover their asses for the 2024 election. They’re planting the seeds now to say they were in the “middle” and not to blame for the evils of the Trump camp because they see the administration as a sinking ship where they can dump all the blame for the bad things endemic to their party that created Trump in the first place. But whatever their motivations, any vote against Trump is a good thing. So, it’s fine that John Kasich wants to formally endorse Biden …

But it’s also kind of weird to give a Republican, whose policies are antithetical to many key planks of the Democratic platform and directly harmful to the very voters the Democratic party depends on, a spot on that stage. Sure, a case can be made that having Republicans (plural, maybe!) step into the danger zone of the DNC and declare for Biden is a big symbolic thing that might win over some middle-of-the-road voters, but it’s still kind of icky to give someone we know as a homophobe, and an opponent of women’s rights over their bodies, a place at the table.

While I don’t think the Democrats who will welcome Kasich will support his policies, I do think it’s important for them to concentrate on the one thing everyone can agree on: Donald Trump needs to go, and people who don’t agree on much else can at least agree on that.

We may not agree on a lot of things about where the county should go, but we can agree that another four years of Trump might mean we won’t have a country to go anywhere at all.

(via The New York Times/Associated Press, Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.

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